Artful Italian food stars in new cookbook |

Artful Italian food stars in new cookbook

By Molly Gingell

I invite you to meet Liva D’ Arti, who owned D’ Arti’s in the early days of Lake Tahoe. Liva just completed her delightful cookbook, “Momma and Me.”

It is a wonderful adventure of culinary ideas. On Thursday, Liva, famous for her delicate cannelloni, will demonstrate artful Italian food.

Here’s one of her fabulous recipes:

Momma’s Famous


Serves 6

Cannelloni Filling

• 1 pound veal cutlets or veal breast

• 1Ú2 pound boneless and skinless chicken breast

• 1Ú4 cup butter

• 2 cups white wine

• Add water or broth as needed

Cut veal and chicken into 2 pieces. In a large skillet, melt the butter. On medium heat, cook the meat until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Add wine, cover and shimmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Cool down and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside in a large bowl and prepare the white sauce.

White Sauce

• 2 cups light cream or half and half

• 1Ú4 cup of butter

• 1Ú4 cup flour

• 1Ú4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

• 1Ú2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

• 1Ú2 teaspoon salt

• 1Ú4 teaspoon white pepper

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour and mix until crumbly. Add cream, a little at a time. As sauce thickens, keep adding cream. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the sauce becomes creamy, but not too thick.

Add grated cheese, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. When done, pour white sauce into bowl with the cannelloni filling and mix until ingredients are all blended. Pour into a casserole dish (about 12-by-9-by-2 inches) and pat down. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Prepare crepes.

Cannelloni Crepes

• 2 eggs beaten

• 2 cups milk or light cream

• 1 T. vegetable oil

• 1Ú2 cup flour

• 1Ú4 tablespoon salt

Beat eggs, milk, oil, flour and salt until smooth. In a large nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium heat, pour a small amount of batter. With ladle, spread the batter to a 4-by-6 inch-long thin crepe. When bubbles form, turn crepe over and cook for about 30 seconds. Make sure crepes are not overcooked or brown. Batter should make about 18-20 crepes.

Stack crepes with waxed paper in between to avoid sticking; set aside. Score filling down the center then in rows to create logs the size of a breakfast sausage.

Place first log of filling at the end of the crepe and roll up. Repeat until all crepes are filled. Place 3 rolled cannelloni in an oblong shallow over an oven-safe serving dish.


• 3 cups marinara or meat sauce, strained

• 1 cup half and half

• 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

• 18 slices of mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

• 2 T. of fresh parsley, chopped fine

Pass meat or marinara sauce through a strainer to make creamy. In a medium saucepan over low heat, add sauce and gradually stir in half and half until mixture comes to a boil.

Pour about a half cup of sauce over each dish of 3 cannelloni with one slice of mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes until cheese melts over cannelloni. Garnish with finely chopped parsley and serve hot.

• Molly Gingell is the owner of Molly’s Gourmet Catering, takeout and cooking school at 220 W. John St. in Carson City.